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AG e-news February 28, 2020

February 28, 2020 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Tuesday, March 3 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Brian Cassone, Department of Biology, Brandon University on “A very hungry caterpillar: polyethylene degradation by larvae of the greater wax moth”.  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, March 3 – As part of the CCARM Food For Thought Seminar Series, Dr. Ranjana Bird, Professor, School of Health Sciences, University of Northern British Columbia, will be giving a seminar in Room R3030, St. Boniface Albrechtsen Research Centre (351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg) at 11:00 am.  Her seminar is entitled:   “Is LDL-receptor a tumor suppressor?: An opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration to prevent chronic diseases in humans”. Everyone is invited to attend.

Tuesday, March 3 – The next HNSC 7200 Seminar will take place at 3:00 pm in Room 207 Human Ecology Building.  Dr. Ranjana Bird will present a seminar entitled: “Research: More than conducting experiments and publishing”.

Wednesday, March 4 –  Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development is hosting a Learn and Lead Seminar – Human Resources and the Board at the Riverbank Discovery Centre in Brandon. The daylong event will help participants identify human resource factors that affect agriculture organizations, and will feature multiple speaker sessions. More details at There is a registration fee of $50 per person, which includes lunch and nutrition breaks. Reserve your spot today by emailing leadership [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca or by calling at 204-762-2702.

Wednesday, March 4FCC Ignite will take place at Victoria Inn Winnipeg at 9:30 am (lunch is included) with a networking reception at 3:30 pm. The FCC Young Farmer Summit will empower you to take control of your business journey. Get real-world advice to help you set and achieve goals and connect with other future leaders like you. Anyone under 40 involved in agriculture, agribusiness or agri-food will benefit. To register for this free event, click here –

Thursday, March 5 – The 2020 Manitoba Young Farmers Conference organized by Keystone Agricultural Producers in collaboration with Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum will take place 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at Victoria Inn Winnipeg. The focus of the MYF Conference is improving efficiencies at the farm level, with speakers Evan Shout and Mitch Rezansoff sharing practical strategies that apply to all farm operations. The day will also include a knowledge exchange session, where farmers of all ages will share what has made their farms successful. $50 conference pass includes lunch and two refreshment breaks. Learn more and register at

Thursday, March 5 – There will be an Advanced Plant Science Seminar on “Microbial Diversity in the Aquatic Environment: Experiences with Function and Sequence-based Metagenomics” presented by Dr. Miguel Uyaguari-Diaz, Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Faculty of Science, University of Manitoba. Seminar will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 3 p.m. Everyone welcome!

March 5-6 – The 2020 Prairie Organics: Think Whole Farm conference coming up in Brandon, Manitoba will highlight two full days of presentations, a large tradeshow and pre-arranged B2B meetings. Martin Entz, Plant Science, is presenting the keynote address on “Healthy soils, plants, animals, people, and planet. How the organic community is leading the way, even when times are tough”. Early-bird registration has been extended to February 15 – register by then and pay only $200 (couples only pay $350). The poster submission deadline has also been extended to February 12. For more information you can email prairieorganicconference [at] gmail [dot] com or  visit

Tuesday, March 10 – The Department of Biosystems Engineering is holding a public presentation by Fuji Jian, Biosystems Engineering on the topic “Building Better Mathematical Models for Management of Stored Grain” at 11:30 am in E2-105 EITC. Dr. Jian is a candidate for an academic position in “Stored-Grain Ecosystem Modeling”.

Wednesday, March 11 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Ahmed Lasisi at 12:30 pm in 346 Ellis Building. Topic is TBA.

Thursday, March 12 – There will be an Advanced Plant Science Seminar on “Early Flowering Epi-mutants of ‘Royal’ Flax’” presented by Dr. Helen Booker, Associate Professor, Flax Breeder, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture & Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan. Seminar will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Coffee at 3 p.m. Everyone welcome!

Saturday, March 14 – Bring the family down to Discover Agriculture in the City, a free event featuring interactive displays from key organizations in the agriculture industry that will take place downtown at the Forks Market from 10 am to 4 pm. This event allows urban Canadians to explore and discover the important role agriculture plays in their lives. Come see the University of Manitoba Food Fight at 10 am in the South Atrium featuring our very own food product development students. For more information, visit

March 15-21Canadian Agricultural Safety Week (CASW) is an annual public campaign focusing on the importance of safe agriculture. Safe & Strong Farms: Build an AgSafe Canada is part of a three-year campaign celebrating farm safety across Canada. Learn more about events and resources at

Thursday, March 19 –  Join the Manitoba Association of Home Economists in celebrating World Home Economics Day in Manitoba at the Clarion Hotel, 1445 Portage Avenue. Doors open at 5:30 pm, welcome and dinner 6:00 pm, Ringing Ceremony 6:45 pm and keynote 7:15 pm. The keynote is “Families in 2020; What, So What, Now What?” presented by Nora Spinks, CEO of The Vanier Institute of the Family. Cost is $50. Students can join for the Ringing Ceremony and Keynote for a discounted price of $10 for MAHE Student Members and $15 for non-MAHE students. Register through Eventbrite at Deadline to register March 16.

Friday, March 20 – The U of M Future Leaders 4-H Club is holding its first annual Achievement Banquet in support of the club and its members at the Four Points by Sheraton located at 2935 Pembina Hwy. All of the proceeds from this year’s banquet will go directly to funding the activities of the U of M Future Leaders 4-H Club and its members. Ticket prices for this event are $50 per ticket which comes with a fantastic dinner provided by Four Points by Sheraton, an inspirational speech done by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development Dori Gingera-Beauchemin as well as the opportunity to witness our 4-H members receive their well-deserved achievement papers. To RSVP or for more information, contact Brittany Pankiw, President, U of M Future Leaders 4-H Club, umfutureleaders4h [at] gmail [dot] com or (204) 712-5135.

March 23-24 – The Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary, AB. Learn more and register at

Tuesday, March 24 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Jessica Forrest, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, on “Population ecology of subalpine bees in an era of global change”.  Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

March 27-28Rising Up: Graduate Students’ Conference on Indigenous Knowledges and Research in Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary and international conference on Indigenous research which will take place in St. John’s College. Keynote speakers include Dr. Marie Battiste and Dr. Christopher Trott. The conference is free (i.e., there is no registration fee), we feed attendees, and everyone (undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, community members, etc.) is welcome to attend. More information can be found at

June 3-5  – The Canadian Food Summit themed “Called to the Table – Ideas to Action” will be at the Delta Hotel in downtown Winnipeg hosted by the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology (CIFST). At this summit, responding to the Senate Report on Agri-food and the Economic Strategy Tables, the aim is to build a collaborative strategy to use our national food science community to meet these challenges and grow Canadian food’s presence in the world. More details at



Don Flaten, Soil Science, was recognized by the Manitoba Canola Growers Association with the 2020 Canola Award of Excellence for his years of research, teaching and extension. The award was handed out at CropConnect. Read more at

Joanne Thiessen Martens, Ph.D. student in Soil Science, was named BAM’s Most Promising Bioscience Student of the Year at the BAM Awards Gala 2020 on February 5. The award is presented based on significant scholastic accomplishments, future plans in the bioscience sector and high level of community engagement.

Graduate students Jessica Nicksy, Soil Science, and Xiang Li, Food Science, were winners in their challenger heats this week at the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. Magnolia Pretell, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, also competed this week. Jessica and Xiang will advance to 3MT Competition Final on March 24, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the Robert B. Schultz Lecture Theatre at St. John’s College. Out of the finalists, one will go on to the Western Regional Three Minute Thesis competition on April 21 at the University of Alberta.

At this year’s Manitoba Soil Science annual general meeting held February 6-7, the student winners of the oral presentation were Jess Nicksy (1st), Marufa Fatema (2nd), and Joanne Thiessen Martens (3rd). Marufa also placed 2nd in the oral presentation contest.

Tracy Gilson, Operations Manager at Glenlea Research Station, retired in December. Tracy was instrumental in working with a number of internal and external partners to revitalize Glenlea and its teaching, research and outreach operations, and led the development and opening of the Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Complex. Jason Bourcier has taken on the role of Acting Operations Manager until the search for a new operations manager is completed.

Myrna Grahn, Manager for the Farm and Food Discovery Centre, recently accepted a three-year secondment to the University of Manitoba’s Vice President (Research and International) office on a Western Economic Diversification project to improve industry-academia interaction as part of a strategic planning project called Horizon Manitoba. Kristen Matwychuk has agreed to take on the role of Acting Manager in the interim.

Dean Martin Scanlon took part in a number of activities in February.  He attended the Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) annual meeting, along with School of Agriculture Director Michele Rogalsky and diploma students (read more at Martin also attended a meeting at the Farm & Food Discovery Centre with an international group of research scientists from a leading swine genetics company, along with a number of Animal Science members. He also attended presentations from potential candidates for the position of Dean of Environment. The two candidates, from Canada and Finland, presented contrasting perspectives on their vision for the Riddell Faculty, including the potential linkages with our Faculty. On February 12, Martin attended the Crop Connect Banquet. He also attended attended a conference entitled, “Producing Nutrient Dense Food 2020” and attended a talk by Tim Reinbott from the University of Missouri. On February 17-19, he traveled to Minneapolis for a Cereals and Grains Board meeting. Martin then traveled to Ottawa February 24-26  for a meeting with the Association of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine  (ACFAVM). This included a meeting with Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) to follow up on a report prepared by ACFAVM for ISED on how ag and vet faculties can contribute to innovation leadership for the value-added food processing sector. While in Ottawa, he attended a dinner discussion with Senators and participated in Lobby Day with Parliament, which involved meetings with a number of MPs with agriculture and research interests. Lastly, he took part in the Canadian Federation of Agriculture President’s reception. 

Annemieke Farenhorst, Associate Dean Research, was appointed Division Secretary of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry – Division VI Chemistry and the Environment.  Annemieke gave an invited presentation at the FarmTech 2020 that was held January 28-30, 2020 in Edmonton on “Sustainable Agriculture: A closer look at pesticides and water.”  She was invited to be a representative on the President’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. For further information about this task force, please see: As part of the EDI Community Consultation process, students, staff and faculty are invited to participate in one of 20 focus groups that will be held on the Fort Gary and Bannatyne campuses in February, March and April – see the website for details on focus group location, dates and times. In the near future, there will also be an online survey that everyone is invited to complete.  And finally, Annemieke was in Ottawa in the week of February 3 to take part in NSERC Discovery grant reviews.

On February 5 the Winnipeg Food Atlas ( was launched by a community coalition led by Joyce Slater, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences.  The Food Atlas is an online tool to help communities take action around food and nutrition issues in the Winnipeg Health Region. The Atlas has interactive maps and data ‘dashboards’ for exploring the Winnipeg foodscape (e.g. location of grocery stores, food banks, community gardens).  It also has other important features such as demographic information, and the rates and cost of diabetes, a growing nutrition-related health issue.  Users can find specific information on their neighbourhood, City ward, or Winnipeg as a whole. See the media coverage in the In the News section below.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, presented at AAFC’s Research and Analysis Directorate’s Speaker Series in Ottawa on February 18 on “The Role of Information in Sup[port for Agricultural Trade Policies”.  Ryan also participated in a panel discussion on February 7 about agricultural and food policy at the University of Calgary. The event celebrated the creation of the Simpson Centre for Agricultural and Food Innovation and Public Education ( at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

Chengbo Yang, Animal Science, was an invited speaker at the Manitoba Swine Seminar ( Chengbo’s presentation was titled “Diet formulation to impact gut pH”.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was in Ottawa February 16-20 for the NSERC Committee Biological Systems and Functions 1502 Evaluation Group meetings on Discovery Grant applications. This is her second year serving on this committee.  Trust has also worked with Science Animated (Sci Ani) over the past two months to produce a one-minute animation for dissemination of her research.  Included within Sci Ani’s standard offering is a global untargeted promotion which guarantees a minimum of 85,000 impressions on social media platforms. Sci Ani also offer the option of targeted promotion, which simply means that they can tailor the promotion to your preferred demographic. Here are two links to the animation – one has Sci Ani branding and one has no Sci Ani branding:  With Sci Ani branding:   Without Sci Ani branding:

Kyle Bobiwash, Entomology, was invited by the Council of Canadian Academies to be on an expert panel on Managing Plant Health Risks in the Canadian Context to provide evidence based policy direction on priorities for Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest, Service, Parks Canada Agency, Pest Management Regulatory Agency, and Environment and Climate Change Canada.   Kyle was also invited to a Food Security and Climate Change in the Canadian North session in Yellowknife by The McConnell Foundation, in partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Institute of Nutrition.

Rob Currie, Entomology, was invited to give a seminar on the use of proteomic and molecular markers in bee breeding in the Biology Department at University of North Dakota, and visited with scientists at USDA-ARS Fargo, Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Group on February 6 and 7.

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, presented an invited seminar on “Go West: Ticks on the Canadian Prairies” at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatoon on February 12, and met with collaborators at that institution.

Have you missed some of the Faculty seminar series this year? Check them out on the Faculty’s seminar video archive at! The January presentation by Carla Taylor, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was recently added to the page.



Katherine Stanley, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Testing novel mechanical weeders” in Top Crop Manager (March 2020) –

Rob Gulden, Plant Science, was noted in the article “Weeds to watch for in Manitoba” in Top Crop Manager (March 2020) –

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Cover crop for dry beans” in Top Crop Manager (March 2020) –

A 4R review done by Cynthia Grant and Don Flaten, Soil Science, is referenced in the article “Updating the science base for phosphorus fertility recommendations”  in Top Crop Manager (March 2020) –

Jitendra Paliwal, Associate Dean (Academic and Graduate Programs), was featured on the front cover of a Winnipeg Free Press insert by the Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba promoting Provincial Engineering & Geoscience Week. It was in Wednesday, February 26 edition.

Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering, wrote the op-ed “Driving toward a rechargeable world” for the Winnipeg Free Press (February 25) –

Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, was interviewed by Farmscape (February 20) in the article “Pork Producers Invited to Participate in Economic and Environmental Viability Survey” – read or listen to the interview at

Mario was also interviewed on Farmscape on February 7 during the Manitoba Swine Seminar in the feature “Canadian Pig Production Practices Survey for Improved Economic and Environmental Viability” –

Martin Entz, Plant Science, and the participatory plant breeding program were noted in the article “A hunger for opportunity” in Country Guide (February 25) –

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Timmerman trains the tigers of Treherne” in Country Guide (February) – see page 29 in a hard copy of the magazine.

Kyle Bobiwash, Entomology, was featured in the UM Today story (February 18) entitled “New course ponders Indigenous issues in food systems” –

Filiz Koksel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and Martin Scanlon, Dean, were interviewed by CBC News and on Up to Speed (February 17) for the story “In search of the perfect loaf: U of M researchers hone science behind healthier bread that tastes good” –

Colin Penner, instructor in the School of Ag and alum, along with alum Jake Ayre, were quoted in the article “Want a super farm business? Build your ‘superteam’” in Country Guide (February 19) –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Make spring nutrient plans now, say U of M soil scientists” in Manitoba Co-operator (February 14) –

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was featured in the article “Survey of Prairie cover crops continues” in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 10) –

Yvonne was also quoted in the article “Testing the cover crop hypothesis” in Grainews (February 6) –

Several Animal Science students in attendance at the Manitoba Beef Producers meeting in Brandon were captured on the front page of the Brandon Sun (February 7) –

Alum Jim Dyck was quoted in the article “Independent oat breeder hopes for great things” in Western Producer (February 6 ), in which he acknowledges Professor Anna Storgaard

Joyce Slater, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was featured in the Winnipeg Free Press article “Online Winnipeg atlas charts food deserts, ‘city-wide’ insecurity” (February 4) – and on CBC News (February 5) in the story “New online map shows Winnipeg neighbourhoods with lowest food, nutrition security” –

The Departments of Plant and Soil Science was prominently featured in the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association magazine The Focal Point – Belay Ayele contributed on page 12 in the article “Optimizing Pre-Harvest Sprouting in Malt Barley”;   Plant Science Ph.D. student Amy Mangin and Don Flaten, Soil Science, are on page 15 in the article “On Your Farm”, Fouad Daayf is on page 16 in the article “Characterizing Fusarium”; and Dilantha Fernando on page 18 in “Genomics for Improved FHB Resistance and Lower DON”.

Paul Bullock, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “A probe of possibilities” in Canola Digest (January 2020) –



Choi, J.*, Wang, L., Ammeter, E., Lahaye, L., Liu, S., Nyachoti, M., YANG, C. (2020). Evaluation of lipid matrix microparticles for intestinal delivery of essential oils in weaned pigs. Translational Animal Science, 4(1): txz150.

Yang, C.*, Gong, J., Kennes, Y., Lepp, D., Yin, X., Wang, Q., Yu, H., YANG, C., Diarra, M. (2020). Effects of encapsulated cinnamaldehyde and citral on the performance and cecal microbiota of broilers vaccinated or not vaccinated against coccidiosis. Poultry Science, 99(2): 936-948.

Christie Lavallee, Terry Galloway, and Kateryn Rochon. 2020. Infestation Parameters of Chewing Lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera and Ischnocera) on Bald Eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae), in Manitoba, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist 152 (1): 89-97.



The Endowment Fund Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is once again seeking proposals from students, alumni, and academic and support staff of the Faculty for special projects requiring funding. This year, $450,000 is available for expenditure from the Fund and the competition has been divided into two streams: Stream 1: $250,000 is available to fund a variety of projects, from teaching equipment/projects to student competitions and field trips. The fund has also been allocated for visiting scientists and lecturers, conferences and workshops, and library acquisitions. Deadline:  now passed.  Stream 2: $200,000 is available for expenditure from the Fund for large strategic initiatives in the Faculty, such as classroom and teaching laboratory upgrades. Anyone considering submitting an application should first consult with their Department Head to discuss unit priorities. Deadline:  Monday, March 16, 2020 at 12 Noon.  Complete details, criteria and application form are available online at: Submit applications via email to Heather Wiebe at Heather [dot] Wiebe [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

The Department of Soil Science invites applications for a full-time, tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor focusing on digital technologies in agronomy. The position begins July 1, 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter. Application deadline: March 16, 2020. For details, visit

The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences invites applications for the position of Head, Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, effective January 1, 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter, for a term of up to five (5) years.  The incumbent must hold a tenured position within the University of Manitoba at the rank of Associate or Full Professor. Application deadline: March 16, 2020. For details, visit

Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2020 is just around the corner. Visit our Year End at the University website ( to review the Year End Guidelines & Schedule for 2019-20 which includes frequently asked questions, key deadline dates, checklists and your Financial Services contacts to help you through the process.

Farm Management Canada is conducting an online survey to understand the barriers and drivers of adopting farm business management practices on Canada’s farms. The survey should take no more than 25 minutes. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a draw to win 2 free registrations to their Agricultural Excellence Conference taking place in Canmore, Alberta in November 2020. You will also receive a copy of the study results. Take the survey at – The survey is set to close March 31, 2020.

Will Bailey-Elkin, a graduate student in the Natural Systems Agriculture lab, will be conducting a study on organic pea-intercropping and is looking for some on-farm collaborators. He is seeking to document how crop productivity of pea intercropping systems change as spatial variation changes. For more details, contact baileyew [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca.

The Manitoba Agriculture and FAFS Soil and Water Health Team is seeking someone to design a mascot for inclusion in print and online resources being developed. We will like to contract an individual to design a mascot called Aggie the Aggregate (The Soil Health Pro). A design needs to be completed by March 31, 2020. It needs to be provided as an image file. Preference is for an undergraduate or graduate student to be commissioned but others are welcome to inquire. Please contact Mario at mario [dot] tenuta [at] umanitoba [dot] ca if interested.


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